Psychology Fears and Phobias

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Your best friend suffers from a phobia of buttons. Describe the symptoms that he/she displays in the presence of buttons, suggest possible causes for the phobia, and outline potential treatments.

Irrational fears come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from the peculiar to the seemingly absurd. These phobias can take a hold of a person’s life and create barriers preventing them from achieving their goals and hold them back a great deal not to mention the self loathing that may occur as a person comes to term with this disorder they live with. My best friend suffers one of the more unheard of, but still reasonably common phobia ‘Koumpounophobia’, the fear of Buttons.

As far back as I remember, from the very beginning of our relationship it has been present in her everyday life. Upon seeing a button, she will instantly feel nauseas therefore having to remove either herself or it from the situation. Upon a chance contact she will have the compulsion to immediately wash and sanitize the area of exposed flesh that’s touched.

A phobia can be described as “a fear not based on reality”, so without any traumatic experience or reason they can just manifest in ones head. My friend has told me on countless occasions she has no explanation for it. When we were at school together, especially primary school she would get teased and bullied by uninformed children who just didn’t understand the seriousness of the phobia. This could have easily just enhanced the fear and made it ever more present in her mind, preventing her from shaking it off.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), otherwise known as talk therapy can be very helpful for helping people to overcome their fears. It helps people to change their thought pattern that induces the reaction. This I believe would be the best first step towards being able to cope with this phobia. However, even talking about this subject can cause my friend to feel very uncomfortable. Many people swear by Hypnotherapy in regards to...
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